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Should we let our kids go back to school this fall?

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Damned if we send our kids to school, Damned if we not.

That is how I feel as a parent when I think of sending Ahaan to school during this pandemic situation which is creating havoc in our nation among people. After 4 months at home with our children, most of us as a parent are more than ready to send our kids as we are all feeling that burnout. We need schools to reopen but we also know its not safe.

When schools closed, kids had no choice but to stealthily adapt to the routine. Their end of school year started with the spring break and then we told them, Aha! The spring break is extended. And then ok! You cannot come now, and they started e-learning for the rest of the year.

Then started ZOOM. They were on zoom and were doing fine. But for some, it was not good, they were not motivated, and parents were struggling to keep them sitting in front of the laptop. It was tough for the teachers also to plan their lessons accordingly and adapt to something that they have not done before.

And now we are out of our minds, trying to decide whether we will be sending them to school if they reopen. We keep reading news everyday about New Jersey Education Board on plans to reopen, that they will have alternate working days. But still if my son is going 3 days a week, his chances to get infected remains the same.

If you ask me, I am confused whether I should send him to a campus made of bricks and mortar and expose him to risk of infection and worry continuously about his physical health every day.

Or

Whether I should keep him at home with me exposing him to the risk of challenging e- learning environment where he will suffer from social and emotional distress due to the lack of interaction among his peers.

I am confused whether I should send him to school knowing that he is supposed to wear mask for 8 hours and will not be able to breathe properly and finally after some time, getting weary of it and will slide it down proning him to infection.

Or

Whether I should keep him at home, where he can be without mask and breathe easily but being with his parents all the time, he will get weary of us.

I am confused whether I should send him to school because he wants to go and so do I.

Or

Whether I should keep him at home because I want him, teachers, and his friends to stay healthy.

 

We parents are so perplexed of what is the right thing for us and for our kids because we want both. I do not know what my decision is yet and will continue to change on how the things move during this summer break. But one thing I know is we are in trouble if we send our kids to school and if we not.

So just trust your guts and do what you think is right for you and your kid.

Happy Parenting!!

Father's Day around the world!

 

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June is here, that means Father’s Day is just around the corner. From teaching us how to walk, ride a bike and walking you down the aisle, fathers have a special place in our heart, so be ready to show all your love this June 21st.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to all the Dads in the world by saying just few words,

“Every hug you give, every joke your hear, every moment you hear patiently, every time you take deep breath and see things from your child’s perspectives, every time you role model for your child how to show up your confidence and integrity, you are shaping your child into a person who will make you proud. We celebrate you! Whatever else you accomplish in your life is nothing as compared to your role as a father.”

Do you know?

Father’s Day was inaugurated in United states in the early 20th century basically to compliment the Mother’s Day in celebrating fathers, fathering and fatherhood. The first celebration of Father’s Day happened in Spokane, YMCA on June 19th, 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father was a civil war veteran and was a single parent taking care of all his 6 children. When she heard the sermon of the Mother’s Day in the church, she requested the pastor that fathers should also have the same kind of the day. Initially she requested for June 5th as it was his father’s birthday, but pastor did not have enough time to prepare the sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.

You all must be gearing yourself making some plans for Father’s Day so here I am with some fun way’s world celebrate this day. Not all dads get to relax with some coffee and the card in their hand. In Finland, dads sleep in and enjoy their breakfast in bed whereas conversely in Mexico, Dads participate in 21k run through the capital city.

 If you also want some crazy ideas to celebrate, here is the list

Thailand: They celebrate Father’s Day on 5th December every year. This day also marks their national day. All of them have to wear yellow and give bright canna flower to their fathers. So cool right, you can grab a yellow flower from your garden and give it to your dad.

Germany: They celebrate this day on 6th Sunday after Easter that is the 40th day after Easter. Though it is a public holiday, it is actually a chance for men to act like boys known as Vatertag. Dad’s enjoy drinking lot of beer, driving a bike and hiking. The wives stay home with the kids and dads have their day of fun. Do you want to give your dad this kind of a day? I would love to. 

Mexico: They celebrate this day on 3rd Sunday of June. It is an observance not a public holiday here. It is usually a family centric celebration. Cakes, chocolate, artwork, t shirts are gifted. Father’s Day community activities take place such as 21k run through the capital city to all the dads. Most schools have special events, such as pot-luck lunches, hand-made artwork on display, children singing songs, or school plays. Families also enjoy the feast topped with Pan Dulce or sweet bread. 

Japan: Father’s Day is known as Chichi no hi in Japan is set on 3rd Sunday of June every year. The most important way to celebrate this day in Japan is spending time with the family. The children gather flowers, make handmade gifts for their dads. The celebratory meal of the day is usually seafood based that mainly consist of prawns and crabs. 

Russia: The day is observed on 23rd February every year. It is celebrated not only to honor not only those serving in the military but also men in general. In addition of getting the gifts from their children, they sometimes receive gifts from their female co-workers. Who would mind that? I would not definitely!! 

Nepal: Father’s Day is also called Gokarna Aunsi here. It is not celebrated until late summers and is not the Father’s Day in western sense. Gokarna Aunsi means “cow eared no moon night”. Dads not only get the gifts but are also honored by boys touching their head on their feets and girls touching their hand. 

United states: Father's Day in the United States is on the third Sunday of June. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children's lives. Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. It is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the 'father' figures in a particular extended family.

It is the day that takes pride in appreciating the contribution of the father and the sacrifices that he makes for his child and his family. Often these sacrifices go unnoticed and moreover his care and love for his child is ignored and taken for granted and not valued by the society.

I salute to all the wonderful dads who have touched the life of so many people, be it their own kid, somebody else kid, family, or any person whom they have mentored and the world at large.

Wishing all the Father’s a very Happy Father’s Day!!

Happy Parenting!!

Let us all take a Positivity pledge!

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I was reading a book Sapiens when I came across a line “Our survival as a species has often depended on complex set of adaptation based on fear. The early hunter did not know which berries are safe to eat but they learned quickly with experience. Similarly, those early humans when first encountered a large animal in the environment did not know whether that animal is a food, prey or predator. Again, they learned, but sometimes learning comes at the cost of lives.”

It reminded of the people losing their lives to covid-19 pandemic. The early cost is very higher than anybody wants to pay but we are all learning with more experience. At this point, many of us are unknown about how is this spreading rapidly despite of social distancing and what is the true mortality rate?

Whenever there is a void between what is known and what we need to know, anxiety will always hold in the cracks and fill the remaining place. Its very easy to let in the negative thoughts and feelings during this time. Every time I switch on any news channel, all I see the news surrounding increase in cases and trials of vaccines failing. The coronavirus is spreading. Nations are under quarantine. People are working from home and schools are closed for indefinite period of time.

We are all going through the joint collective shock, sense of loss, anxiety and stress and range of other emotions. We have cancelled our spring gala, our trips and learning new technology everyday

With all the negativity surrounding you, keeping a positive mindset can take you a long way in managing such difficult time.

Can Positivity be contagious? I know that sound cliché when we are talking about coronavirus but its true, being positive during the crises can spread and help others during this difficult time. I read an article yesterday which points to how you stay positive affects others around you. So next time when somebody ask you “How are you feeling?”, you know what to say “POSITIVE”

Staying positive in not a “do it yourself” project. For many, there is a community they can turn to, whether it is family or friends, or whatever it might be. Leaning on those people whom you trust gives you strength to fight.

So, while I sit down to write this article, I asked myself “How do you stay positive in the negative atmosphere?” After much thought I have jotted down some ways you can stay positive.

Gratitude

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Write a gratitude journal every day. Be thankful. There are so many things that you should be thankful for. For those who have a job, be thankful for that. Those who do not, there are people around them who still care for them. Those who are at home, be thankful that you are safe. Having a sense of gratitude leads to the lower level of stress. This very evening, before you go to sleep, think of the positive things that happened during the day. Take a moment to do this every night. If you have children, take a moment with them before bedtime to ask them to think about something they’re grateful for. You can share it with your kids and set a good example.

 

Meditate

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The secret of making the power of positive thinking is meditation. It works for me and I am sure it will work for you as well. In order to manifest the positive experiences in your life, you must change your thoughts which has to be changed from the roots itself. So, when you meditate, it first melts and eliminates the layer of anxiety and stress which leaves us with crystal clear thinking. You will be able to develop positive mental attitude which allows the easy manifestation of everything positive around you. Speaking of meditation, this is the area where I want to focus more and implement in my life. As everyone is health conscious these days and yoga is the best form of meditation one should try.

 

Faith

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Another thing that is proven right for me is faith. Faith can be on anyone. It can be on a divine figure whom you believe or anyone who is close to you. Faith cause us to focus on the process rather than the problem. Our battles can make us feel negative and isolated but when you know you are not alone. It brings positivity in our life.

 

Doing one kind act everyday

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Bring and share positivity by helping others. Volunteering your time, money, or energy to help others does not just make the world better, it also makes you better. Studies indicate that doing a kind act back boosts your happiness, health, and sense of well-being. You are not only doing good for others but doing good to yourself. I really found helping others makes me feel better about my existence.

 

Follow your passion

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I have been lately seeing lot of messages on my family Whats App group where everyone is cooking, sending pictures of their drawings and following their passion in this quarantine mode. What is it actually doing to you? Keeping you busy and engrossed right. That is the first step to not let the negativity prevail in you. It makes you feel confident and gives you the assurance of happiness and positivity in you.

 

Smile

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I know it might sound silly. I didn’t do much of this during the weekend. It is  just a matter of moving your facial muscles a bit but sometimes it gets tough especially during this time because of work from home and kids around you. So, make it a habit of bringing yourself in front of the mirror and force yourself to smile. Believe me it will really change your mood and help you to destress. I also felt lighter because it takes less muscles to smile than to frown.

 

Positivity is powerful but is useless without any actions. So, This May, the Mental Health Awareness month, I challenge you to take a pledge to be positive. It is an opportunity for you to take control of your mental health while putting some good in the world.

Stay positive and Happy parenting!!

I am a mom of 4-year-old and I had Coronavirus

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It all started 9th April when I slept with the tickling sensation in my throat. Next morning, I woke up anxious reading everything I could find about this deadly pandemic. The only thought I had in the mind was what if I am a carrier? All I was thinking at that moment was my family, my kid and my husband who are living with me.

I discussed this with my husband, and we ruled that option out because I just had the sore throat and no persistent cough. The day was fine, I did not feel much in my throat and was getting fine. It just felt like a normal cold and I started taking my necessary precautions like hot water, green tea and some ayurvedic medicine. The tickling sensation in my throat would not just leave.

I started to question myself. Did I move out of the house? The answer was a big No. I have not moved out of the house from last 2 months. Did I touch anything that could carry it? Again, no because whatever we are been delivered are left outside or in our car trunk for 2-3 days and then bringing in wearing gloves after disinfecting. It was a soliloquy and after much thought I concluded that I am thinking too much about it.

As an avid news reader, I followed the outbreak of covid-19 in china and Italy closely. Although no state or federal mandate was in place that time, we took necessary precautions like I pulled out my son from his music class and his swimming lessons. We stocked all essentials items because we believed that virus is dangerous before many people started to take it seriously. The state of New jersey closed 20th march. Since then we have not left the house. My husband just went out once to grocery store because the delivery slots for groceries were not available. We adopted the stay at home recommendation early and struck to them and we did everything write.

Despite of this, I got sick.

I started to keep continuous check on my symptoms, and I was not feeling anything apart from itchiness in my throat. I then decided to take the online CDC recommended test to check whether you have coronavirus or not. I did not meet the criteria as my symptoms was not in the list and was told that I just have cold symptoms and nothing else. When somebody tells you that you are fine and its just cold and you have multiple negative thoughts in your mind. How would you feel? You will ecstatic right? That was it, I was happy, cooked my favorite meal and slept well but then again, I had this feeling that something is wrong. why is that tickling in my throat not going away? After much thought I decided to take an appointment with my doctor to explain how I am feeling.

Next morning, I took an appointment and had a video call with my doctor. I explained how I feel deep down my throat. She asked me some basic questions. Did you go out? How long have you been feeling them? Do you have a fever? Are you feeling any fatigue? With no for every answer, she said it might be just seasonal flu and you will get better with time. With continues doubts in my mind, I asked can I get it tested for coronavirus? She said you do not have any symptoms but still if you have doubt, get it tested and keep that thought away from you permanently.

I booked my drive thru test for the next day with the urgent care. Those who are not aware as how the test is done. Let me explain you they put a cotton swab down your nose to your throat. I felt a little uncomfortable, but I got the test done and was told that they take 72 hours and will call me with my result.

I came back home and regained my duties, my son’s school, cooking and cleaning. Never have I thought I might contract it. Friday, I got a call and my husband told me to put it on the speaker. We were pretty sure that it would come back negative. The person on the call said “I am calling from urgent care, just wanted to let you know you have been tested positive for coronavirus”. I hung up and my husband panicked. I panicked too but I was also relieved to know that now I know that I felt terrible for a reason and it was all so real.

I called my physician to tell about the test. She was so surprised to hear from me and had no clue how it happened? I was also relieved to hear from my doctor that I seem to have a mild case and will recover well. She told me to take vitamin C and Vitamin D. the only thing that you can fight this virus with. I was in self-isolation away from my son and my husband then on. I did not get any fever and 10 days later, I still had a scratchy throat on and off but there was nothing concerning for me to be hospitalized.

While I felt anxious, I tried to relax. Then I realized as a mom that my biggest fear was for my 4-year-old son, who usually ends up in bronchitis every change of weather since this is a respiratory disease. What would that mean for him?

There was heavy energy in the room, yet we tried to keep everything right. My husband tried his level best to manage everything. He used to get up, cook and then make my son study, do his own work and then manage every possible thing in the house. When you are sick and you know somebody is there, it acts like an energy booster for you. He was just that to me during this tough time. He would make me feel that everything will be alright and just take rest, he is there for everything else.

Imagine what it is like when you have 3 people in the house and out of them a confirmed case of coronavirus and one healthy preschooler?

Tough right? There are many words that can be used but this seems to be the best. The strangest thing I find about this virus is what I have experienced is the fluctuation. Since the beginning, one moment it feels that you have been hit by a truck and then other moment feels nothing is wrong. The good part of this moment is that sometimes its ok and the bard part is when your son asks you when are you getting better to play with me?

Now my self-isolation period is over, and I am feeling well and have no symptoms, got it tested again and came back negative. I am still taking lot of precautions like wearing mask when I am with my family and wearing gloves when needed.

I still feel scared and anxious almost everyday and I know how much it takes to put oneself back again. The only valuable thing that I had was Hope. So just in case, if I have anyone out there just like me, I put together some pieces of advice. I hope with proper social distancing and following the advices of the government officials, we can help stop the spread of Covid -19 and get these numbers down, but I also fear that it is very much prevalent than many of us even realize. I do not know where I got it. I was washing my hands, being careful.

So, while I hope we all stay healthy, if anybody does have the same experience, I have put together my advice on how to parent with the coronavirus.

1.Throw away screen time out of the window

We all have set some screen time and rules for our kids, but it does not matter if your child is watching a lot these two weeks. If you want some rest, and do not want your kid to come to you, it is sometime ok to let them watch for as much time they want.

2. Give lot of attention and assurances to your kids

We have a particularly emotionally aware and sensitive toddler and he has expressed that he does not want mommy to be sick. I think he was nervous because it is not usually something he sees. I did not have a choice to be with him to assure. It is very important to give lot of attention and assurance to your child. My husband assured him that everything will be normal again. He used to do facetime calls from the other room to check how I am feeling. Having some control helped him feel as if he is a process of getting me better.

3. Lean on to your family, friends and relatives

When my result came, I got a call from health department telling that my whole family has to quarantine themselves too. We could not do our own groceries. Everything could not be ordered. and I needed my friends and family for physical support as well as emotional support. I received lot of support both emotionally and physically that made me feel how privileged I am.

 

These are strange times; it has been a tough two weeks and I do not know when we all can step outside with our little one without any fear in my mind. But until that day comes, do not forget to text, call or connect with someone you have not talked to in a long time.

These times shall too pass.

Happy Parenting

Does your child know the Golden Rule? - Teach your kids kindness and compassion.

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You must be wondering what the golden rules is? A week before Ahaan was sitting doing his art activity that his teacher Miss Mary was teaching and he was really excited to learn his scribble scrabble art. She then asked everyone the question “Tell me children, what is the Golden rule?” she told to raise hand if you know it.

I was sitting next to him saw him raising his hand, I was not sure what he will say and when it was his turn, he said we should not run in the class and not trouble anyone. The other kids started their own version of not misbehaving in the class. It was a moment for me when I realized how important it is to teach every kid the Golden rule.

 

What is this Golden rule?

The Ethic of Reciprocity is the golden rule which is widely referred as one of the most universal of all principles. It is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we talk in the simple sense, it means treat others like you want them to treat you. This golden rule serves as your child’s internal moral compass to help guide their social behavior and daily actions. This rule is very simple stated, but it is not so simple to follow.

What does it tell?

  1. Everyone should be kind towards others. Kindness is to live to one’s essence. We need to teach our kids that kindness which means to treat everything with respect.
  2. It also tells people to give the helping hand to one who is in trouble. We should teach our kids to help the needy.
  3. Sharing is also one of the important parts of this Golden rule. Sharing love, emotions and things is what kids should learn.
  4. Last and very important is to include everybody. Nobody should feel left out. We should ask kids how would they feel if nobody wants to play with you? They should be taught this important aspect of inclusion.

 

How to teach The Golden Rule to kids?

If you teach your child about the golden rule early, you will grow to see the value of this simple rule. There's a natural development that kids go through cognitively, that tracks along with what it means to do the right thing or be a good person.

To Preschoolers

Children learn from people around them. It can be their parents or teacher. We should keep this in mind that very young kids are observing you and others in the environment. If they witness kindness, patience and consideration and forgiveness, they will also learn this how should one treat others. Children between the age of 18 months to 5 are very social. Not everyone your child meet is going to model this golden rule. Other children and adults can be thoughtless and hurtful in their surroundings. Although you cannot protect your child to what they see, hear and experience but you can definitely access about their perception by asking “what they did was not nice, was it?”. Never give any judgement to the kid like “they did it wrong”. Always give your child an opportunity to figure out and sense what is right and what’s wrong.

The object is not to create “self-righteousness” in your little one, but to acknowledge their natural knowing.

If your child is the one who is thoughtless and hurtful, you can address their mistake by simply pointing out to that particular behavior that you want them to improve. You should also give them the alternative to that behavior for the next time if they have the similar choices. Learning involves mistake and one learns from their mistakes. Just remember to be consistent. Be patient to them and use repetition and empathy when pointing out to their mistake.

Teach them to say” I am sorry”. If your child sees you asking for forgiveness is what they will learn eventually.

 

Age 5+

When kids start going to school, they have already developed basic stance of this golden rule. It is not that they are expert, they will make mistakes. They will also be exposed to many other children, some of them who don’t have the basic manners and sense. What you need to do is reinforce the concept of treating others the way yourself to be treated to our kids.

If your child has not been treated nice, its very hard for a child to be nice to them. Teach your kid to be patient and take a deep breath before reacting to any situation. We need to make them believe that the best decision takes place after taking time to think. We should discourage them to be impulsive in this situation.

If you think your child has been picked in regularity, it does not mean he/she should suffer the atrocities on the hand of the other classmates by forgiving them all the time and following the golden rule. You are their advocate and have to step in.

The objective of golden rule is very simple. It is basically to create and maintain the harmony which can only be accomplished by right thoughts, action and words. Everybody can learn this in their family setting. If we use it as a set standard of behavior at home, it is going to be very easy for kids to practice the golden rule.

Older children face more difficult challenges and moral dilemmas. We as a parent need to help them out in order for them to find a solution. The foremost important thing to do with the older kids are listening to them with compassion and empathy. They will probably stumble upon the situation or a clearer way to approach a problem if they share and talk to you. We need to make our kids believe that you trust their choices and they have the ability to make the right judgement as to what is good and what is bad. Convey the truth that everybody is learning, and nobody has got it right yet. Giving them the advice and after talking to them, just follow up with them on the problem. You will be surprised as to what is so big that day looks so small to them today.

If your child is always at the receiving end of the hurt, then make sure you need to build your child’s self-esteem. We can do this by incorporating various activities such as by imposing positive affirmations and by learning martial arts and self-defense. Golden rule does not teach us to be meek all the time. It has to be balance between the meekness and the boldness.

If your child is offending someone, teach them with kindness but very firmly there and then but not in front of everyone, but private.  The key is to ask questions as to how would you like, if someone would have done this to you? This is not to humiliate the child but to make them see from the other’s perspective. Explore alternative thoughts and actions or words your child can use it.

 

Just remember: Your child will have many experiences in life that will test their adherence to the Golden Rule, but if you live it at home, model it, and expect your child to follow it, the Golden Rule will become part of your child’s emotional, moral and spiritual fiber.

Arguing in front of your kids? Here is what you need to know

 

We were coming back from a place when me and my partner had an argument. My son just yelled and said, “Stop fighting”. My little one had a tough time that day. Is that to do with mommy and daddy arguing?

Raising a kid is a very stressful and complicated undertaking and it takes a lot of strain on your marriage even in the best of your circumstances. Conflict is the part of every relation and sometimes it is unavoidable to argue in front of the kids. And here lies our concern as a parent.

Does it hurt your child when you fight with your partner in front of them?

According to the earlier research theories, many researchers have assured parents that there is no harm fighting in front of the kids as long as they see their parents making up afterwards. But according to the new development in psychological study, it has been proved that when they hear angry yelling or shouting, their stress hormone shoots up. Even when they are asleep, they can still recall hearing those shouting, angry conversation.

Whenever the child is upset or angry or scared of anything, the parents are his/her place for comfort. Imagine the kid see his/her parent fighting or yelling at each other. The world for them becomes a scary place to live in.

To the worse, when adult fight and yell at each other, it gives the message to their children that this is the grown-up way of handling things. The fight, yelling and shouting has bad effects on the children. Along with their stress level, it also causes the anxiety issue which makes it difficult for kid to fall asleep.

 

So, does it mean that there should be no disagreements between parents in front of the kids?

Its good for kids to see their parents disagreeing with each other respectfully and ask for what they need without proving the other person wrong. In short children learn and benefit from the healthy disagreement. It happens when you are very angry and has a very hot temper, but if you quickly resolve the issue with your partner and your children see you reconnecting, you are actually setting up the true example of any relationship.

Don’t worry if you are getting into an argument and solving it respectfully but remember when it exceeds and go beyond to yelling and shouting, you are moving out of the healthy zone. So, when you think that matter is not solving, and you cannot respectfully agree with each other in front of the kids. Use a code word “I think you are right, but we need to talk more on that later”.

Be sure to summon your sense of humor if the argument is getting heated up. Make sure you hug your partner after the fight in front of the kid. It will help them to relax and believe that the parents are going to work out things positively.

 

What if the damage happens? What if you yell or shout at your partner in front of the kid?

Don’t panic……...

Your child will be not with affected with one single encounter of the fight between you and your partner. The risk factor lies with the repeated experiences. Don’t worry. Try this experiment and try to see everything through your child’s eyes.

Observe few things when you have a disagreement on any topic

  1. Do voices stay at the calm level?
  2. Does the tone stay respectful all the time?
  3. Is the tone in the home same and full of warmth and support?
  4. Do you find ways to express your needs and wants without attacking each other?
  5. Do you make a point of making up in front of your children?
  6. Is your child able to see the emotional generosity on both sides?
  7. Are you contemplating some positive interaction with every negative one?

 

These practices are good for your relationship. They model both healthy agreement and disagreement for your child to see and learn from. We must realize that kids are smarter than we think, and their development and intelligence begin at birth. Peaceful parenting is what matters in all age group.

Are you thinking that your fight can use a tune-up to shift to a healthy mode? Do try all these steps and you will definitely find a difference.

Happy Parenting!!

The Secret to keep your kids busy and learning at home due the school closure amidst Coronavirus outbreak.

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As millions of students are being displaced from school due to the spread of coronavirus all over the world. Here rise the real crises for all the parents: what will the kids do at home all day? How to keep them busy? Being a mother, I am sure you agree with me that we cannot match the kid’s energy level. I still wonder many times where do they get energy from?

Entertaining them for a weekend is different but now we have 7 days and indefinite period of time where we have to think how we can entertain them and keep them busy. This widespread school closure has sent a contagion effect in the parental communities where they race to find ways for the smooth transition of kids from their school to home life.

From public health point of view, closing schools are the useful measures that will help in controlling this outbreak but from parenting standpoint, it’s very logically challenging and incredibly stressful.

There was a concept of Home schooling which is quite old when there used to be very less schools and there are still many families who believe in this concept of home schooling their kids. That’s all you need to do in this crisis’s situation.

Don’t stress yourself, the solution is very simple. Make a routine. Kids are used to following a schedule. Make a blueprint of what activities you want to do. Plan everything beforehand so that everything falls at its place. It might sound difficult but its easy. Just grab a piece of paper and pen and draft how you want the day to look like. The goal is to keep the kids busy.

Here is how you can set the routine for your kid.

Follow the school routine

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Use school as an example and follow what they do throughout the day.

  1. Keep the breakfast, lunch and snack time, the same.
  2. Break the day into small chunks just like the school so that it gets easy for them to adjust.
  3. If your child has dedicated schoolwork, you need to figure out what time suits them to focus and concentrate. Is it morning or afternoon?

 

Dedicated Play time

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Carving out the day for the dedicated play time for kids is something that they are looking for throughout the day and they will keep pester you by asking you what time it is and when are they going to play. When you have mapped down everything from the food time to the school assignment, its time for some serious learning specially when your child is imaginative and creative.

The more child plays, the more he/she learns. So, make sure you leave approximately 20-30 minutes everyday for their free play time in their schedule.

  1. Toys with lights and batteries or the toys that talk should not be involved in it as it reduces their thinking capability. Make sure you keep the toys that involve some thinking ability such as blocks, racetrack and Lego.
  2. Don’t involve adult in their play. Limit their involvement. Let them play on their own and only come when they need your help. This will help in their own development as they learn to solve their own problems.

 

Make a Screen time Routine

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when the kids are at home, they will definitely have access to the screen and here comes our responsibility as a parent to make them use it wisely.

To keep your child from overindulging in the screen time

  1. Have a set schedule for children that means a specific time so that the children know when they can watch their tv such as when you are sorting down lunches or household work.
  2. Some of the parents switch on the tv to have some background noise when it feels so quiet. If your kid is not watching, just switch it off. If you need any background noise, play some good relaxing music.
  3. Out of the scheduled time block, switch on the tv only when you think you need to. Save screen time for some big moments like when you have a conference call or when you are preparing your dinner or lunch.

 

Plan some easy Indoor activities

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It might sound easy but believe me that’s most difficult to do keeping in mind the temperament of your kid. Don’t think you can only limit 1 activity a day. You should probably think of at least 3-4 activities so that you can keep them busy for at least an hour or so. Easy indoor activities are the lifeline and a great way to practice school skills and keep them entertained. Don’t plan any complicated activities that takes time for them to understand.

Some of the activities that you can plan are:

  1. Build a city: it might sound very weird but just give them their bunch of toys like cars and houses and then give them a box. What they need to do is just flatten the piece of box and make the road with the help of color pens and construct a city with it.
  2. Wash toys: It is one of the best plays I did when I was a child. Give your kid a bunch of all plastic toys and make them sit in the bathroom tub. What they need to do is just wash them. Put them bubbles and sponges so that they can enjoy their work.
  3. Recycled Art: Use a trash or some thing that you think you can transform it into a piece of art and give them a paint and tell them to beautify it. You will not imagine how it will turn out to be because they have such sharp minds and can think of anything which you would not even think about it.

 

Build in Reading

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Many studies and researches have shown the importance of reading to kids. Being at home is the best time to start this. Those who do not have the habit of reading, start with 15-20 minutes a day. Remember that this is the total amount of time and you can break this time like 5 minutes before lunch and then 10 minutes before a nap. Put in the reading block. Consider structuring the reading block in different ways such as parent reading aloud, children reading aloud (if they know how to read it) and the silent family reading time. If your child wants to extend the reading time, don’t think about spoiling the whole schedule. There is no such thing as too much reading. You can always plan the leftover activities for the next day.

 

With the most perfect schedule, planned for your kids. There will some of time where you just can’t muster up the energy to come up with the single activity and instead let them watch their favorite show or a movie. That’s ok!

These next few weeks are not going to be easy for sure. You will lose patience, you will raise your voice, your house will be a disaster and probably amidst all this stress, you are going to overeat. But remember you will also get the opportunity to slow down and refocus, to let go of the demanding schedule. You will get time to snuggle your babies a little more, to play board games. Just be thankful that you are healthy and that you have each other. In times like these we have to find the blessings in the chaos and uncertainty.

Happy Parenting and Be Safe!!

A panic free guide for Parents to deal with Coronavirus.

 

We parents are in constant fear for the well-being of their kid. So, it’s pretty natural that the stories about the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) makes it more worrisome as to whether our kids are safe or are in danger?

We are still learning about the new virus as there has been no cure detected. We are still not sure as how it is spread; how serious it can be and how to treat it. These tsunami of questions in our mind makes us extra careful in taking care of our kids.

This outbreak of the virus is on the edge of becoming epidemic. The next few weeks would be critical to know whether the virus is break free or continue to spread in number location of the world. As of this writing, there are relatively few cases here in United states and India and many measures are being taken to control its reach. So, it becomes really important for you to listen to the public health officials of your area and be well informed of what’s happening around you. Do not panic if your child or some one else in your family is down with cold, cough and fever. Its far more likely to be a cold, influenza than Coronavirus.

Infact influenza kills more people every year and public health officials and doctors talk about it every year as to how to keep you and your kid away from catching the flu. The same precautions can be taken for Coronavirus as well as they are both spread in the similar ways.

What you can do?

  1. Make sure you make your kid wash their hand with soap for around 20-25 seconds as long as it takes to sing a rhyme. Make them sing a rhyme and let them wash it properly. If you are out. Make sure you and your child use a sanitizer by spreading it well all along the hands and also in between the fingers. Make them the habit of washing it before they eat anything and coming back home from school and play or after being with someone who is sick.
  2. Make sure you and your child has received flu vaccine as it is far more common and dangerous.

 

  1. Encourage healthy eating habits such as fruits and vegetables and lot of proteins and carbohydrates in your child’s diet to strengthen their immune system. I know its tough to make them eat veggies. Try some different ways out such as giving them in some other forms.

 

  1. Teach your kid not to touch their face, mouth, eyes and nose with their hands if they have not washed them. It is easier said than done. I agree, I can imagine how difficult it is. I always tell my child and when he sees that I am not looking at him and doing something else, he touches his eyes or mouth with his hands. Make them play a game with it, like if you feel an itch, then itch it with your knees.

 

  1. Little hands instinctively reach out too many things around them. We should teach our kids not to touch the surfaces that are out in Public. Hold on to their hands when you are walking out. Make sure you carry some wipes to clean the area before you or your child touches and throw them at prompt. In winters, make your child wear gloves, which will anyways protect them from both cold and the bacteria. Make sure you have some extra change of gloves so that you can wash them after the use and use another.  

 

  1. Make your child stay away from sick people as much as you can. Even one of the parents is ill, try not to be around the kid because they have the higher chances to catch the infection. Unless there is some special travel advisory given by the public health department, this does not mean that you should confine you and your kid in your house or you should skip school or daycare. One thing you need to keep in mind is that its really impossible for you or your kid to stay away from the germs. Its totally impossible! Even the people who are suffering from Coronavirus, may not be aware long before they come to know. Just be aware of the symptoms of the people around you such as coughing and sneezing and try to stay away from them.

 

  1. Even if anyone in your family or your near and dear ones get cold, cough and fever. Stay away!! And tell them to stay at home. It might not be Coronavirus, but it is really contagious and might spread and others can catch infection too. Don’t panic other parents if you in cold and cough, start coughing around their kid.

 

  1. If you are hosting a party or a get together in your house. You have full right to tell them not to come if they are sick. Keep a sanitizer at the entrance so that they can use it and avoid carrying germs inside the house.

 

 

If your child develops cold and cough symptoms, consult your doctor for this or if there is anything that might concern you. I always have the Spidey sense when I am around my kid and knows what might happen or what’s troubling him. I know all mothers have this sense and will know beforehand.

Again !! Please don’t panic. There is lot of misinformation about Coronavirus that is floating around. Check the reliable sources for more updates. Follow these simple tricks and call the doctor in need.

Be safe!!

Happy parenting!!

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How to make bedwetting easier on you and your child.

 

You will probably potty train your child between the age if 2-4, but your child may still have a nighttime accident (Known as Bedwetting).

It is common as your child grow. It takes time for their body to develop the ability to wake up at night when their bladder is full. During this time, he may wet the bed up to 3-4 times each week.

 

                                                       What are the causes?

When your bladder is full, nerves signal the brain to tell you that its time for you to urinate. But for some kids, this signal does not wake them up.

Bedwetting can also happen because:

  1. Your child’s bladder is too small to hold the urine he/she makes at night
  2. Their nerves that signals a full bladder have not developed completely yet.
  3. They do not have enough hormone that limits the urine they make at night.
  4. When your child is constipated, which reduces space and puts pressure on the bladder.

 

As your child grows, whatever is the reason for causing this bedwetting will usually resolve on its own. You should remember that bedwetting is not your child’s fault. It is just a stage of development that he will eventually outgrow.

Most children who wet their bed are healthy. But sometimes bedwetting is also a sign of some serious health conditions. If you notice any other symptoms such as usual weigh loss, fatigue, daytime sleepiness along with bedwetting, be sure to consult your doctor.

 

                                       Reassure your child with these simple tips

Even though bedwetting usually isn’t a sign that something’s wrong, it can still be overwhelming and stressful for both you and your child. Your child may feel embarrassed, anxious or guilty about wetting the bed. Help reassure him with these tips:

  1. Be patient and supportive: Don’t punish your child or scold for wetting the bed(even if your laundry is piling up). Instead stay calm and remind your child that its not his/her fault. Also talk to your family members or to your other kids not to make fun of these bedtime accidents.

 

  1. Don’t make it a Big Deal: Lots of other kids wet the bed too. Maybe you did as a child. Maybe your child’s older sibling did. Share this with them so that they know that bedwetting is normal, often runs in families, and that their body will grow and learn to stop over time.

 

  1. Let your child help: If your child wants to strip the bed or carry wet clothes to the laundry, let them take the lead. Being responsible for some of the clean up may help your child feel like they have some control.

 

  1. Don’t keep your child from social activities: Your child can still go to camps or have sleepovers. To help ease your child’s concern about spending the night away from home, pack extra pajamas or disposable underpants your child can wear at night just in case. Explain to your child that they can put them on in the bathroom without letting anyone know. As a parent, you can also pack an extra bag in case your child needs to bring the wet clothes home. Also remind your child to go to the bathroom before he/she goes to sleep.

                                                      How to manage the accidents?

       Being prepared for an accident can help make things less stressful. Try these ideas out to help make the nights easier for both of you.

  1. Disposable Underwear: They looks like a real underwear and children ages 4 and older can comfortably wear them. They both absorb urine to help prevent leaks.

 

  1. Waterproof mattress cover or absorbent mat: This will help to keep your child’s mattress clean, dry and odor free.

 

  1. Odor protection: Rooms can smell even if you clean the accidents right away. Try using room Fresheners or odor -absorbing sprays.

 

  1. Extra pajamas: Lay these out each night so they’re ready if your child has an accident.

 

                                                                 What you can do?

Small changes in your child’s daily life can help her bedwetting. You don’t have to do all at once. Choose one of the simple steps to get started.

  1. Limit drink before bedtime: Some parents have found that keeping their child from overdrinking between dinner and bedtime helps with bedwetting. Give your child most of the fluids earlier in the day. After 5 pm, try to serve only one 8-ounce drink. Do not reduce the amount of fluids your child gets everyday overall. This leads to constipation or dehydration.

 

  1. Choose caffeine-free drink: Caffeine causes your body to make more urine in less time. Swap caffeinated sodas for water or milk (not chocolate milk- as chocolate too contains caffeine)

 

  1. Go to the bathroom before bed: If your child’s bladder is empty before bed, he/she will be less likely to have to go during the night. Create a bedtime routine for your child and include this step twice. For example: go to the bathroom first, before brushing teeth or Storytime. Then try to go to the bathroom again, right before your kids get into bed.

 

  1. Keep track: Write down your child’s habit to help you figure out if her bedwetting is linked to certain triggers or stressors. Use a bathroom dairy to record what and how much your child drink for at least a week. Also track any changes in routine at home or school. This can help you find patterns in what causes wet and dry nights.

 

Make sure your children know that while normally they need to be in the bed after the light out, it’s okay to get out of bed at night to go to the bathroom. Place nightlights so that they can find their way in the dark.

Give them the support and comfort they need; everything will eventually fall in its place. Happy Parenting!!

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Playdate : Guide to immaculately plan it.

 

Socializing is an important part of everybody’s life and it’s important that it is developed when the person is at young age. So, parents came with the concept of Play Date. Those who are not aware of what Play Dates are, here is the definition

Play Date(n): A time that the parents arrange for their young children to play together.

 

The definition seems so simple. The parents call or email each other, decide the date, time and place and voila...A playdate! I am a newbie and I always use to cringe when I hear the word Play date. I believe tons of parents would agree to me. Its full of anxiety just like you are going on the blind date. Its unlike an actual date, you have got few unpredictable infant or toddlers running around your feet.

But Play dates can also be fun. I had a Play date some 2 months back with my 4-year-old boy with his friends. Today they are best friends and so are me and other moms.

Kids like to hang out with their pals and parents too need a break. If the situation is ideal, it is the blast for everybody. They are also one of the ways where your child learns so much like sharing and develop social skills. It gives the children an opportunity to make new friends and talk to the grown-ups. It helps them to practice their communication skills, taking turns, sharing their things and switching between the activities.

 

When should you start?

There is no specific age as when to start the play date. It can be started as soon as your child is some months old. Don’t think what’s the point of taking such small babies to Play date when they don’t know how to play. Infact they are developing the important life skills that is getting comfortable around other children.

 

But Play Dates can be stressful if not implemented properly. So, here are some dos and don’t for making this Play Date work:

  1. Keep it short and sweet: When your child is having a play date with any new friend, its better to keep it short and have the parents around them. An hour is a good amount of time for almost all the children. The older they get; they can spend longer time playing all together. If we parents keep it short, this way kids part wishing they could spend more time together and look forward for next Playdate. Just make sure Always keep them wanting for more.

 

  1. No Favorites: If the Playdate is happening at anyone’s house, remember to put away your child’s favorite. Your child may not be able to easily share these toys. Putting them away can avoid the conflicts that might occur.

 

  1. Snacks: Plan what snacks you will offer ahead of time. If your child is like mine, then with the friends around him, he will be digging into the cookies or unhealthy food by getting in the kitchen asking to get that from the pantry for everyone. It’s better to discuss and plan it with your kid in the morning of the play date so they know what is being offered and will not fuss about it. Make sure you ask everyone about the allergies in advance.

 

  1. Plan an Activity: If you have a 4, 5 or 6-year-olds, they can’t entertain themselves for 2 hours. They will play for some time but will end up coming to you saying that they are bored. Why not plan some activities beforehand. Collect some activities or craft work so that they can make some crafts or play some interesting games. Never over plan because some activities or games can backfire. Kids can be more interesting in talking and playing other things with their friend rather than doing the activities.

 

  1. Time warning: Ending the playdate when kids are having fun can be stressful. To avoid this, give kids the warning that the playdate is ending. Let them know that they just have 15 mins left, then 10 and finally 5. Give them time to prepare themselves. You can also ask the kids to do clean up indicating them that the playdate is ending. This will reduce the stress and can end it smoothly.

 

  1. Play outside: Getting them outdoors is a good idea if the weather permits. It would be good for them to indulge in sensory games and play ideas. The nature will naturally calm the child. Visiting the brand-new place with them like a park or a playground can be fun and open them to new experiences.

 

  1. Don’t hover over the child: We parents need to understand that as the kids are growing, they don’t want their parents to be around them when they are playing. It does not mean that you should stop checking as to what they are doing. Keep a check but stop hovering. Give them independence to play what they want to. Just relax and do not micromanage the whole playdate.

 

Don’t forget that Playdates are an awesome learning experience for your child, because its fun for your kids as well as you. If your child does not have the ability to share, use this as an opportunity to build these important skills.

So, what are you waiting for? Get some playdates on the calendar. Push yourself to invite new child in your kid class, move out of your comfort zone, make the first move and make the great group of friends for you as well as for your kid.

Happy Parenting!!

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